An interesting article on the BBC website about the rules around what information journalists should be able to re-use in the media from social networking and social media sites.
My view is that:
- the method used to obtain the information is very important – if a journo picks up a piece of info or a photo from an open site like Flickr then it seems fair game – however, they shouldn’t obtain information via deceipt and subterfuge from a private space like Facebook … ‘digital door-stepping’
- I am uncomfortable about stuff that I publish being re-used for commercial gain without my permission … but if the info is taken from a public space then maybe I should just get over it!
If we could trust journos to apply a bit of basic ‘humanity’ to their decisions to re-use people’s stuff, we wouldn’t have a problem. The real issue is that the ‘rules’ of social media are unwritten and rely on people knowing them and playing by them …
It seems to me that these unwritten rules can be categorised into two areas:
- understanding the publisher’s intention when they published something and respecting that intention
- if you are about to re-use content, asking yourself how the publisher will feel when/if they see their content re-used in the context in which you plan to re-use it.
Neither of these are particularly difficult to understand and not abiding by them is essentially manipulation and exploitation … it breaks the spirit of social media.
Unfortunately, it is impossible to legislate for spirit and media self-regulation is laughable so we can expect to see much more media manipulation and exploitation of social media content in the future …